Every month we like to highlight one of our many special patients and tell you his or her story. Come take a look at these special pets!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ELLA
Ella looks like your typical Labarador mix but is actually more than just that, she is smaller than your average lab/mix but is just as determined and curious. She, however, is really gentle mannered and “respectful” in her interactions with humans. She is one of the cutest black dogs I have ever seen. I am sure the owner thought the same when she adopted her from the Columbia Missouri Humane Society back in December 2016.
The first time we saw Ella she was brought in to get setup with veterinary care. She was seen by Dr. Sappington and got her last set of vaccines. Ella was happy and healthy. At that point Ella was fully protected and good to go out and explore the world.
Early in the morning of January 27Th, Ella was admitted to the University of Missouri-Columbia Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Ella had cut herself while hiding under the bed. She was first seen by the emergency crew and they found that she had a 3cm long laceration on the back of her right hock in the area of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is composed of five separate tendons (Gastrocnemius, Superficial Digital Flexor, Gracilis, Semitendinosus and the Biceps Femoris tendons) and is responsible for keeping the heal bone off the floor when weight is bared on that leg. Even though it was painful, Ella was bright, alert and responsive upon presentation and all her other vital parameters such as heart rate, respiration rate and temperature were within normal limits. They shaved the leg so that the wound could be thoroughly cleaned and examined. They suspected she may have torn her Achilles tendon so they bandaged the leg and referred her to the surgeons the next day.
After sedating Ella and removing the bandage, Dr Barger performed a more thorough examination of the laceration which revealed she had cut through the Superficial Digital Flexor tendons and had partially cut through what look like the Gastrocnemius. The tendons were sutured back together. A cast was applied to protect the tendons and to prevent the repair from failing since this type of injury can take several months to repair. Ella was sent home with some pain medications and strict instructions and restrictions.
If you have ever owned a dog or even just know one from a friend or family you should know that 6 month old puppies love to jump, run and play: so activity restriction is not an easy task for any owner during that part of the dog’s life. It is, however, necessary for the healing process. To prevent stress on her healing tendon, Ella was not allowed any of those for 3-4 weeks. The most exercise allowed would be a 10 min leash walk so Ella could urinate and defecate. When the owner was not around, Ella had to be confined either to a crate or a small room. She was also sent home with “the cone of shame” to keep her from licking and chewing at her cast. The cast had to be kept clean and dry. Ella’s owner also needed to monitor Ella’s toes daily for signs of swelling indicating the cast is too tight.
After multiple bandage changes, Ella seems to be heading the right direction as far as healing. Only time will tell.
Written By Ando